Rowan Atkinson opens up on axed Man Vs Bee original title ‘Needed something direct’

Man Vs Bee: Rowan Atkinson stars in Netflix trailer

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Man vs Bee has made its way into Netflix’s top 10 as a global hit since it started airing. The TV comedy follows Rowan Atkinson as Trevor Bingley, who takes up a job as a housesitter following a failed marriage. The star opened up to and other press about the show’s original title, which was axed.

Man vs Bee has gone down a huge hit since it arrived with viewers keen to see Atkinson in his latest visual comedy role.

The Mr Bean star is seen in a relentless battle with a bee as he looks after a couple’s immaculate home.

Whilst attempting to get rid of the bee, he ends up destroying the house and everything in it.

The show’s title ‘does what it says on the tin’, but it was not always the first choice.

Atkinson spoke to and other media about how there was a last-minute change.

Speaking about the initial concept, he said: “We were very interested in the job of housesitting, how you qualify to be a housesitter.

“Is there a professional body that guards the standards of house sitting throughout the world?

“And of course, there isn’t I suspect, or maybe there is and I’m badmouthing the industry.

“But it’s just this idea that this fabulously wealthy couple with a wonderful house full of priceless and exotic works of art could simply hand over the keys to their house to a complete stranger for a whole week and go away on holiday.

“And the inherent dangers and absurdities contained in that situation.”

He revealed the show was originally going to be called Housesitter but felt the title needed to be more direct.

He said: “We liked this idea and what we wanted was for the character to in some way destroy the lives of that couple, and destroy their house.

“So how can that come about? And the catalyst we thought of was a bee. How a bee could cause the degree of mayhem that we were looking for.

“So that was the starting point. Actually, the show was called Housesitter at first, even when we had the bee in it.

“But we thought we will have to change the title to something more direct and clear and telling of the story.

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“So we ended up with Man vs Bee which undoubtedly tells the story.”

The star went on to say it was then a long process of trying to work out what his character and the bee would get up to.

He added: “We started just over three years ago, three years ago was the first script and the whole process of script writing and rehearsal, of which we did a great deal.

“So an awful lot of it was worked out in rehearsal in advance of shooting.

“And of course, the rehearsal fed the script. The script was effectively writing up at the end of the day all the actions and silliness that we decided to do in the rehearsal.”

Bee puppeteer Sarah Mardel said this was one of the most interesting jobs she had experienced.

She spent months researching bee movements and general bee behaviour, from what they would do when trapped under a cup to how they recover from being stunned.

She said: “When you’re creating or playing an animal, everything in you wants to make it larger than life or give it this internal storyline.

“For a bee, though, it’s always about intention, going to that bright colour or following that light.

“You can push the story along and insert tiny vestiges of personality while keeping true to the actual bee itself.”

Man vs Bee is on Netflix now.

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